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New York protest shuts down Fifth Avenue for Black Men murdered by police

By Michela Martinazzi |
July 8, 2016
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NYC protest against police terror
NYC protest against police terror (Fight Back! News/Staff)

New York, NY - Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered at Union Square at 5 p.m., July 7, to demand justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The call to action was made by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

The murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile occurred a day apart, both at the hands of cops.

Sterling, a 37-year-old father from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was at a convenience store on the night of Tuesday, July 5, when two cops approached him. Sterling was selling CDs on the sidewalk and had permission from the store owner to be there. The two cops began questioning him and consequently tackled him to the ground, pinned him down and shot him six times – killing him.

In Minnesota, Philando Castile was in the car with his girlfriend and her daughter when he was pulled over by cops on Wednesday evening, July 6. The officer proceeded to shoot Castile at close range, and then started to curse and yell as Castile bled out. The whole time his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the whole incident to Facebook. Castile was taken to the hospital where he died later that night. Officers put Reynolds in holding until 5 a.m., where she didn’t have the ability to contact anyone.

Both of these murders were filmed, and yet there hasn’t been an immediate arrest, dismissal or repercussions for the cops involved. The officers are on paid administrative leave.

In Staten Island, New York a similar situation occurred two years ago when a cop put Eric Garner into a chokehold and suffocated him. Garner’s crime was selling loosies – single cigarettes from a pack without a tax stamp. The incident was also filmed and the murder sparked outrage in New York. Thousands protested for weeks on end. Despite the evidence, the office was not convicted.

As of today, there hasn’t been one cop that’s been indicted and convicted for killing a Black person.

Jewel Miller, an important organizer from Staten Island and the mother of Eric Garner’s daughter, reminded the attendees of these facts and urged people to keep fighting. Even two years later, Staten Island is still demanding justice. She led a series of chants, “Indict! Convict! Send those killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”

Other speakers made passionate speeches to shut the system down and to demand revolution as the only change.

The march started at around 6 p.m., and at this point several thousand began taking the street. The protesters blocked Fifth Avenue and marched from 14th Street to 42nd Street. Chants ranged from “Black lives matter” to “How do you spell racist? NYPD!” As the march proceeded, people joined from the sidewalk. Cab drivers proceeded to honk in solidarity to the beat of the chants and the drums.

The march took over and ended in Times Square, where protesters kept their spirits up and vowed to shut it down if they didn’t get the justice that these two men deserved.

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